Winter, where art thou?

Published 10:03 pm Thursday, February 6, 2020

More than a year ago, my wife and I bought our daughter a sled to use for when it snows.

Mother Nature, we’re still waiting.

Last winter, we kept it out in the hopes we’d see snow fall and then bundle our daughter up and take her out in our neighborhood to excitedly ride her sled.

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It got more use as a pretend boat in our living room.

This year, we haven’t bothered to take it out of the storage closet in the hope that out-of-sight, out-of-mind will mean measurable snow.

As I write this, temperatures are nearing 70 — again. And, to top that off, there isn’t a nighttime low forecast to be below freezing for the next 10 days for Suffolk.

I knew I should have asked WVEC meteorologist Tim Pandajis to put in a good word for snow when I had the chance. Pandajis was the guest emcee at the Suffolk Humane Society’s Paws for the Arts last Saturday.

Missed opportunity.

At this point, if someone brought an artificial snowmaker to a good sledding hill and charged admission, I think it’d make good money.

We may have to take our daughter to the mountains, or even up north or west somewhere at this rate for her to get to sled.

Fortunately, we do have pictures of her playing in snow while my family lived in Williamsburg, but it was before we had a sled.

I can remember a winter when my wife and I — in the pre-child days — lived near the mountains and saw snow regularly during the winter. We even had two snowfalls one winter that each measured out at more than two feet.

Of course, the big negative to that is that, at that time, I had a long driveway to shovel, and that was a multi-day, back-breaking effort that I don’t miss.

On the other hand, we live in an apartment now and would not have to lift a finger other than to clean off our cars.

As someone who was born in Key West and has lived near the coast for much of his life, I never thought I’d be wishing for cold and snow, but here I am. Even where we live in the southeastern part of Virginia, it’s just not right that we don’t have at least one snowfall.

If this keeps up, we’ll have a generation of kids who won’t get a snow day, or see the push notification that alerts them to whether they’ll have school or not. In my day, it was hovering around my dad’s radio to wait for the DJ to list off the school closings and delays, but hey, times change.

Imagine, Suffolk kids never getting the chance to be mad that Isle of Wight, or Southampton, or Chesapeake, doesn’t have school, but they do. The horror.

Or those days when a dusting of snow coated the ground enough to cancel school, and then the temperature rose into the 60s so they could say how crazy it was that they got to stay home.

Where’s Elsa when we need her?

As a parent who wouldn’t get a snow day if any of it actually fell from the sky, though, the struggle to find someone to watch our daughter would be on.

All that’s falling from the skies these days is rain, which is fine, but we can’t take our daughter sledding in water.

Besides, schools don’t cancel to let kids puddle stomp.

So, with apologies to Frozen:

Let it snow, let it snow,

Don’t hold it back anymore.

Let it snow, let it snow,

Let us play and sled some more.

Here I stand and here I’ll say.

Let a storm rage on.

The snow never bothered me anyway.